Film review: Wonder Woman

Okay, this is was a swings and roundabouts sort of a deal for me. They got a lot of stuff right, but I still think they have a way to go before they match the sheer awesomeness of Guardians of the Galaxy or The Age Of  Ultron.

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Okay, so what did they get right. Well, first off: Gal Gadot. This was a courageous and inspired piece of casting. I can imagine the punch-ups around the water cooler when someone suggested putting a near-unknown in the armoured corset, rather than someone with a more Johanssenesque quality.  Well, the gamble paid off; Gadot brings a sort of naive, willful determination to the role, which was a welcome relief from the square-jawed stoicism we saw in Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (The Baby Groot Show)

guardians_of_the_galaxy_2.jpgYou  know what it’s like. Marvel Comics hands you one of the their B-teams and tells you to go make a movie. It’s a surprise smash, and now they want a sequel…

This is often where the trouble starts, and that’s why I can count on one hand the number of sequels that are better than the original. Fortunately, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t get a god complex and jet off on a wild tangent to find his artistic centre; nope, he looked carefully at what made his first outing such a huge success and then delivered exactly the same … only more so.

 

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Film review: Ghost in the Shell

If you’re familiar with the Manga classic of the same name, then there’s not much in this film that is going to surprise you, and this is a good thing. It’s pretty much the same story: at some unspecified point in the future, humans enhancing themselves with cybernetic body parts has become the norm. The mysterious Hanka Corporation has taken the notion one step further: a completely artificial body piloted by a human brain.

Now, taking a classic piece of Manga fiction and turning it into a Westernised action flick is always going to be a “swings and roundabouts” proposition. The advantage is that you have a classic story to work with. The disadvantage is … that you have a classic story to work with. As long as you stick to the original plot and keep most of the classic set pieces from the original, then the fans will give your efforts a grudging approval at the very least, and thunderous applause if you’re very lucky (or very good). The problem is that something that is essentially a cartoon may not translate well into a live action movie. Ghost in the Shell gets away with it … just. They’ve changed enough of the sequence to make it worthwhile for the affeciandos to see it, but kept enough of the original to delight them. Not bad, not bad at all. Continue reading “Film review: Ghost in the Shell”